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Prague Open | Men
  17/05/2011 - 22/05/2011

Alison/Emanuel and Dalhausser/Rogers play for gold in Prague

The first set between Brazil's Cunha/Pedro (left) and Dalhausser/Rogers (USA) in the semifinals took 40 minutes. The Americans eventually secured it 40-38, needing 13 set points.
Prague, Czech Republic, May 21, 2011 - The final of the 2011 Swatch World Tour Prague Open will be a rematch of last year. Americans Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers will defend their 2010 gold medal against silver medalists Alison and Emanuel from Brazil on Sunday in the Stavanice Stadium. Olympic champions Dalhausser and Rogers lead the head-to-head results by 8-1.

Alison and 2004 Olympic champion Emanuel reached the final by defeating qualifiers Sascha Heyer and Sebastian Chevallier in two sets (21-10, 21-14) in just 30 minutes. The Swiss team, only playing their second FIVB tournament together, surprisingly beat top teams like fourth seeded Americans Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena, European champions Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil from the Netherlands and Pedro/Cunha from Brazil (12th) earlier in the tournament, but were no match for the second seeded Brazilians.

The second semifinal between Dalhauser/Rogers and Cunha/Pedro was definitely more exciting, with the first set taking a stunning 40 minutes. The Americans eventually secured it with 40-38, needing 13 set points. Brazil failed at seven set points. The set score was not even a record, Dalhausser/Rogers lost 41-39 in the semifinals last year in Stare Jablonski to Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos. In the second set the top seeded Americans only needed 22 minutes and two match points to secure a spot in the final (40-38 21-19).

“It is all about entertaining the crowd”, Rogers said humorously as to why they needed so many set points in the first set. He and Dalhausser prolonged their FIVB World Tour men’s record match-winning streak to 40. On Sunday they will be going for number 41 and also for their 20th FIVB event title and third consecutive title this year after winning both Brasilia and Shanghai. Rogers: “It will not be easy. They will be going big time for us. Alison is an absolutely beast at the net. It will be the thin beast (Dalhausser) against the big beast.”

For Alison and Emanuel, trailing the Americans by 8-1, it does not matter whom they are up against. Emanuel: “Whoever will be on the court, we want to win. I just hope our performance will be the best we have played in the tournament.” The final of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Prague Open will be played at 2pm (local time), the bronze medal match between Heyer/Chevallier and Cunha/Pedro at 1pm.

Earlier on Saturday Cunha/Pedro eliminated the Czech Republic's Petr Benes and Premysl Kubala in two sets , the home team being cheered on by the president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus. A 2-1-win against compatriots Marcio/Ricardo got Cunha/Pedro in the semifinal. Heyer and Chevallier defeated Latvia’s Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins 2-1 to reach the final four.

The winners of the $190,000 Prague Open will split $30,000, while the silver medalists receive $21,000 and third place is rewarded with $15,000. After 2008 and 2010 this is the third time a FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour event has been staged in Prague. The first edition was won by Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal from the United States, who finished 17th this year. Last year’s gold medalists were Dalhauser and Rogers, beating Alison and Emanuel in the final. Germany's Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann, who forfeited this year because of injury, won bronze.

The Prague Open is the first of two men’s only tournaments of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour 2011, the second will be played in Agadir, Morocco, in October. In two weeks the Swatch World Tour will continue in China with the $600,000 Beijing Open, the first Grand Slam of the season.  
More press releases
22/05/2011 Brazil’s Alison and Emanuel capture gold in Prague
21/05/2011 Alison/Emanuel and Dalhausser/Rogers play for gold in Prague
20/05/2011 USA and Brazil secure spot in Prague semifinals
19/05/2011 Brazilian teams remain unbeaten in Prague Open main draw
18/05/2011 Top qualification seeds knocked out of Prague Open
18/05/2011 Brink/Reckermann withdraw from Prague Open
17/05/2011 Jennings/Wong advance to qualification in Prague
16/05/2011 Legend Ahmann has eye on Rosenthal/Gibb for Prague honours
11/05/2011 Who will stop Dalhausser/Rogers in Prague?
8/02/2011 Prague to host only single-gender men's event of 2011
27/01/2011 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour calendar finalised